Trainer Arti Doctor`s four-year-old horse, Sweet Music, was simply too good for the opposition pitted against him in the 1,600m Governor`s Cup, on Saturday. The Dean`s Kitten son notched-up another smart victory, his fourth in the hands of apprentice R.S. Bhati, since he migrated from Western India, after the Pune season. The afternoon also witnessed trainer Vijay Singh`s public-choice Shivalik Story (Dashrath Singh-up), winning an exciting finish to land the Midnight Cowboy sprint.
Bhati rode a copy book race, having already partnered the four-year-old thrice, with an equal amount of ease. The whip-less apprentice held back Sweet Music, close behind five rivals and also brought the 9/4 favourite, the shortest way home to first humble, his stable-mate, the long time leader, Setaflame (Neeraj Rawal), and finally the late finishing trainer Javed Khan`s aging challenger, Copernicus (C.S. Jodha) to score with a degree of ease.
Javed and Jodha were, however, also among winners in the afternoon`s eight-event card. Their association bore fruits in the 1,400m Eastern Command Cup, which was claimed by Beatles Bible, a 5/1 shot. Jodha allowed Outrider (Akash Rajput) and Artificial (Shrikant Kamble) to call the shots till about 150m from home before switching the gears to score as Vijay`s even-money favourite, Akshya (Neeraj), made a futile attempt along the rails and James McKeown-trained Running Hand (Hindu Singh) tried to catch the winner napping with a late run.
The Javed-Jodha combo fired again in the concluding event when the stable`s 7/1 chance, Bambini Festa, found the slated trip of 2,000m much to his liking in the Sweet Ellar Handicap.
The Bambini`s victory followed after Arti`s strongly wagered horse Friendship (Bhati) bolted, and so did Vikash Jaiswal`s Jordana (Akash Rajput). Bambini was further behind the likes of Zandra (Rajinder Singh), Prince Of Hearts (Ashhad Asbar), a quiet fancy, and Fab Bullet (Dashrath). Friendship ran short of gas rounding the final turn, while Jordana managed to pull on till a furlong from home, leaving the Bambino, to come with a spirited run, loaded with good amount of stamina, to overhaul the 12-horse field.
Dashrath also scored a brace of wins. His innings started with the victory of Bharath`s baby, Bojangles, in the 1,100m Yerevan Plate. The Win Legend colt was a winner at every post, leaving his nearest rivals, Lumos (Asbar) – his stable-mate, and the rest behind by five lengths.
Asbar had a golden chance of winning the lower division of the Hydrofoil Handicap but he threw away the race by a bad planning. He failed to retain a handy third position, early in the race, on trainer Daniel David`s charge Curtis. Asbar also dropped back to rear in the next furlong. He did bring back Curtis into the contention mid-way in the home straight but by then the race was well sewn up by Raunak Banerji`s Dark Angel (Hindu) who had taken over the running from Glamorous Glory (Md Islam), 300m from the post.
The upper division of the Hydrofoil Cup was claimed by trainer Vikash Jaiswal`s Zara Go Zara (Rajput) who led all most of the way to just about last out to beat Hurricane Storm (Asbar) and Shafer (Azharuddin).
Pandula Vikram, too, guided trainer Manvendra Singh`s Nelsons Blood to a pillar-to-post win in the Indian Air Force. The apprentice riding of the horse was also revealing. Vikram followed the instruction of the trainer, on the speedster, in totality and the 7/2 shot delivered the goods with ease.
Zara Go Zara (Akash Rajput up) winner of the Hydrofoil Handicap (Div-I)
Dark Angel (Hindu Singh up) winner of the Hydrofoil Handicap (Div-II)
Bojangles (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Yerevan Plate
Beatles Bible (C S Jodha up) winner of the Eastern Air Command Cup
Nelsons Blood (P Vikram up) winner of the Indian Air Force Cup
Shivalik Story (Dashrath Singh up) winner of the Midnight Cowboy Cup
Sweet Music (R S Bhati up) winner of the Governor`S Cup
Bambini Festa (C S Jodha up) winner of the Sweet Ellar Handicap